04 September 2020

Covid-19 pandemic; travel restrictions lifted for participants in PCA hearings and meetings

Having conducted a number of virtual hearings since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Permanent Court of Arbitration has now resumed (partial) in-person hearings. To be noted in that connection is that the Netherlands’ authorities have added ‘essential guests invited by International Organizations’ to the list of exceptional categories of persons, to whom the entry restrictions applicable to travelers to the Netherlands from outside the EU, Schengen area and United Kingdom do not apply.

As a result, persons invited by the PCA for the purpose of participating in a PCA-administered arbitration at the Peace Palace are exempted from the advice to self-quarantine, regardless of the country of departure. Upon review by the authorities of the invitation issued by the PCA, and carrying with them supporting documentation issued by the PCA and the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, participants are allowed entry into the Netherlands.

Please note that the other general health guidelines (see https://www.government.nl/topics/coronavirus-covid-19/tackling-new-coronavirus-in-the-netherlands/travel-and-holidays/air-travel and www.rivm.nl) continue to apply, most notably: do not travel if you have any symptoms that could be caused by the corona virus.

PCA-invitees travelling on the basis of the aforementioned procedure would still have to comply with regular visa requirements as applicable.